With the 'on again, off again' talk of legalised croc hunting safaris in the Northern Territory, Monday's Four Corners program features a report on Africa’s trophy hunting industry. The program is titled “Safari: Paying to Kill” comes from Canal Plus.
They’re the big game animals that symbolise Africa – lions, rhinos and elephants. And they’re top of the list for the big game hunters with deep pockets who travel to Africa to hunt and kill.
For $22,000, you can shoot a lion, $120,000 will get you a rhinoceros. Some safari hunts even let you choose the size and colour of the animal, right out of a catalogue.
“A lot of hunters are collectors, they’ve hunted everything, now they want to add something new, something exciting…It’s like a dress, no woman likes to wear the same dress for three years. They like to change.” Game breeder
“It’s a huge business. A lot of farmers are leaving cattle-breeding to start breeding game, because it’s a buoyant market. It’s better than the stock market!” Hunting Guide
Even the taxidermists are doing well thanks to their wealthy clients.
“These guys have massive houses. They build their own showrooms. This (one is for) a Russian client and he bought a new house for his trophies.” Taxidermist
Some animals are bred specifically to be hunted.
“In order to satisfy lion hunters’ demands, lions are bred like chickens often in legal but deplorable conditions” Reporter
This film takes you on a journey into the auction rooms and animal warehouses where these prized creatures are bought and sold. And into the darker world of illegal hunting where lions are tranquilised or partly domesticated to make them easier to shoot.
Monday 14th March at 8.30pm on ABC *Greg